My school district is currently “closed until further notice.”  I know so many others are in a similar boat.  It has been a very, very abrupt learning curve!  We were given some guidance.  Mostly, we were told that kindergarten and first grade (the grades I work with) are only to receive 1 hour of learning a day.  Also, as a special education teacher, I must prove that I am providing accommodations.  It was very, very difficult to wrap my head around all of it.

So now I am teaching from home AND homeschooling my OWN first and third grader.  GAHHH!

We are now on week two of digital learning.  While I am NO expert, I have figured out a few things to make my life easier. Here are some reflections as a parent and a teacher:

TIP #1: Parents are swimming hard.

If you are going to send work, make sure you are aware of how long the work will take.  Then subtract an assignment.  All this online work is taking my own kids longer than I would have ever expected. They are simply not independent enough, or familiar enough with these apps to be clicking around like a pro.  I have to set up everything for them.  As a parent it a lot to handle and I do it for a living!!!

TIP #2: Homeschooling takes PREP work for parents.

Just opening up the computer at 8 am and getting started on Monday morning is most likely not going to happen.  There is no typical school day anymore.  Consider sending assignments for the upcoming week the Friday before.  This allows the parents to review the work and print or set up as needed.  This will help both the parent and student to be successful AND help alleviate some of the parent’s stress on Monday morning.

TIP #3: Speaking of assignments, have a weekly plan ready for parents.

It really helps to have all of the assignments in one place and easily accessible.  Since I am a special education teacher, I created individual learning plans for each child I teach to help meet their goals. To make it easier, I created this table with everything they would need and added a hyperlinked it to the needed websites. Want to know how to do it?  I created a step by step video of how to make your own.  It is a two-part video. Make sure to check out both parts. I email this document as a pdf directly to parents so they have everything they need, for the week.  This past week I emailed it on Sunday.  My goal is to email it out by Friday this week for next week’s learning.

How to Create a Digital Learning Plan for Students

CREATE A DIGITAL LEARNING PLAN FOR STUDENT VIDEO #1- This video is a step by step tutorial on how to create a learning plan for students using PowerPoint. The video describes how to make a table and insert hyperlinks in the table.Watch next video here=

Posted by Mandy's Tips for Teachers on Sunday, March 22, 2020

How to Customize Your Student Learning Plan

CREATE A DIGITAL LEARNING PLAN FOR STUDENT VIDEO #2- This is the second video showing how to customize a table for student learning plans.Watch the first video here= is the link to the FREE Maker Stations by Teach Outside the Box!!

Posted by Mandy's Tips for Teachers on Sunday, March 22, 2020


TIP #4: Keep in touch the easy way

It is always important to me to keep in touch with all my parents but it is even more so now.  I regularly email parents and talk to them on the phone.  During this time, I wanted to make sure parents had everything they needed.  I wanted to see if they had access to printers, and if they had devices to learn on so I created this form in Google Forms.  This form creates a centralized way to gather information.  I made another one today and sent it out midweek to see how the week was going, if the workload was appropriate, and if changes need to be made for next week.

Here is a FREE step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own form:

Using Google Forms to Communicate with Parents

I wanted a simple way to get feedback from parents after my first week of Digital Learning. I used Google forms for FREE! this video is a tutorial of how to make and send a Google form to parents via email for feedback!

Posted by Mandy's Tips for Teachers on Monday, March 23, 2020


Check out my video playlist of all the tutorials I have created for digital learning here!


I hope that these tips and resources are helpful as we continue to navigate this new way of teaching and learning.  Additionally, I do have some things that might make digital teaching easier.  If you are looking for some reading materials, these are PERFECT for parents.  It has a variety of leveled texts and is written FOR parents.  Each text has a weekly list of activities that parents can easily do.  Hang in there everyone-we will make it through this!!!

I just made this SPECIFICALLY for digital learning.  It includes an instructional movie to teach decoding of CVCe words, a book to read that focuses on CVCe words and a worksheet!